The active United States rig count unexpectedly declined by 2 last week, with a 7 site drop in oil rigs, bringing the overall total to 979 sites.
Brent crude futures were up 29 cents to $68.31 a barrel at 11:27 a.m. EDT (1527 GMT).
In New York, US light prices were down by $0.47 at $63.04 per barrel in mid-day trading.
The net long position in futures and options tops 600 million barrels of oil, the data shows, meaning that in the event of a sharper drop in price, sellers may find a dearth of buyers. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for May delivery was down 4c at $63.33 a barrel.
Giovanni Stauvano, a commodity analyst at UBS, told UPI that oil "seems to be caught" between a stronger USA dollar and concerns on the potential trade war.
China today confirmed a 25 per cent levy on $50bn (£36bn) worth of US goods, including vehicles and agricultural products like soybeans, in response to US President Donald Trump's planned tariffs on on Chinese goods.
Modi 'flood' fear unites snakes, cats, dogs: Shah
Amit Shah lashed out at Congress as it raised questions on Narendra Modi-led-Govt- over four and a half years of rule. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made a decision to celebrate the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Phule and Dr.
Brazil court authorizes arrest warrant for ex-President Lula
The founding member of the Workers' Party stepped down in 2011 after a two-term reign that was widely lauded at the time. Despite his legal troubles, he leads preference polls to return to office - if by some chance he is allowed to run.
Commerce Secretary will brief House members on citizenship question on 2020 census
Additionally, several states have filed suit against the Commerce Department for the inclusion of the citizenship question. The lawsuit cites earlier instances when the Census Bureau weighed in on immigration and citizenship questions.
USA storage dropped by 4.62 million barrels to 425.3 million barrels last week, while outbound shipments of crude expanded to a record, according to an Energy Information Administration report yesterday. Last week, reserves fell by 4.6 million barrels, while analysts expected a 246,000-barrel growth.
"This morning, it is all about the macro (economic) situation and how the trade relationship between the USA and China is evolving", BNP Paribas head of commodities strategy Harry Tchilinguirian told the Reuters Global Oil Forum.
Oil prices drew support as Wall Street rose.
Bullish market sentiment has been supporting the record net speculative length in ICE Brent futures, which hit a record high of 595,596, up 34,388 from the previous week, as the front-month contract hovered above $70/b during the reporting period ending March 27.
Lending some price support to oil was a comment on Tuesday by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, referring to earlier comments by Saudi Arabia that talks were taking place on a long-term market co-operation deal between Opec and non-Opec producers led by Russia.
Before the rebound late on Wednesday, after the release of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) inventory data, WTI and Brent had hit two-week lows after China proposed a broad range of tariffs on USA exports, feeding fears of a trade war.